NHRC to inquire into Barpeta police firing

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 13 2010, 06:49am hrs
Taking a serious view of the police firing in Barpeta town of Assam which left four persons dead and about 50 people injured, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has decided to inquire into the incident.

Acting on a complaint filed by rights activist and lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy, the Commission has asked the director general (investigation) to collect the relevant reports relating to the firing within eight weeks.

In the incident on July 7, at least four students were killed and 50 injured in Barpeta town when the police opened fire on protesters who tried to stop updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) being carried out in July. Trouble erupted when a group of All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU) activists allegedly pelted stones and set ablaze a building in the premises of the deputy commissioners office in a bid to stop updating of NRC work in progress there.

Tripathy, in his petition, had accused the state authorities of a high-handed attitude towards the members of the minority communities especially students in the state and urged the Commission to intervene to protect their rights. He pleaded that the commission should conduct an investigation into the circumstances in which the police resorted to opening fire at the agitating students.

The NRC is being updated to identify and enlist Indian citizens in the state. In March, the Assam Assembly passed a resolution urging the Centre to update the NRC of 1951 by taking the 1971 electoral rolls as the basis.